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Whether you’re taking a short hike after work or a week long excursion into your favorite canyon, here is the gear you should never be without.


  1. Navigation tools – Map, Compass, GPS, etc. There are even apps for this stuff now. You never know when a quick side trip to check out a rock formation can turn you around and send you off in the wrong direction.
  1. First-Aid Kit – A twisted ankle can turn a day hike turn into overnighter, so make sure you have the supplies to deal with common injuries and ailments.
  1. Fire – Always have a source of fire. A lighter or flint/steel is best. Accidentally getting wet, having to spend the night or a surprise storm can change plans quickly and staying warm is key to survival.
  1. Emergency Shelter- Something as simple as a reflective blanket or a tarp
  1. Extra Water – Always carry more water than you need or a way to purify water. Purification tablets are light and small – leave them in your pack for that one time.

When out in the wilderness even the most experienced hikers can run into problems. Even if you’re prepared, you could encounter another hiker who wasn’t and they’ll be stoked you were prepared.